2 October 2005

Wigan (0) 2 (Camara 48, McCulloch 63)
Bolton (0) 1 (Jaidi 68)

Four wins in five games now for Wigan as they continue their excellent
start to the season at the expence of high flying Bolton. After a
goalless first half, Wigan went ahead when Jimmy Bullard's cross should
have been headed clear by Bruno N'Gotty, however he presented it
straight to Henri Camara who clipped the ball over the keeper and in off
the bar. The lead was doubled when Camara crossed for Lee McCulloch to
drill a half volley firmly into the bottom corner, however Bolton soon
battled back and were rewarded when Stelios Giannakopolous crossed for
Rahdi Jaidi to head home, but Wigan held on for another three points.

Attendance : 20,553
Assist : n/a, Camara, Giannakopolous

Aston Villa (0) 2 (Moore 50, Davis 90)
Middlesbrough (1) 3 (Yakubu 33, (pen) 88, Boateng 64)

Aston Villa's worst ever start to a Prem season continued as they lost
at home to Middlesbrough who continue to be predictably unpredictable.
The visitors went ahead when Wilfred Bouma skied what should have been a
simple defensive clearing header and as it fell to Yakubu, he volleyed
home from a tight angle. Early in the second half, Villa equalised after
Patrick Berger's shot was blocked and Luke Moore calmly curled the ball
into the corner. Middlesbrough then took control, largely down to former
Villa man George Boateng who was at the far post for a corner and hit a
shot back across goal that nestled just inside the post. Boateng was
then fouled right on the edge of the penalty area by J.Lloyd Samuel, the
official ruling that it was inside the box, allowing Yakubu to send the
keeper the wrong way from the spot. Stephen Davis pulled one back with
the last kick of the game, a firm shot from 20 yards after James
Milner's corner was half cleared, however this was Boro's day.

Attendance : 29,719
Assist : n/a, n/a, Rochemback, Boateng (won pen), n/a

Arsenal (0) 1 (Clemence 81 og)
Birmingham (0) 0
SENT OFF : Cunningham (Birmingham) 24
MISSED PEN : Pires (Arsenal) 27 - Saved

Arsenal needed a massive stroke of late luck to see off ten man
Birmingham after keeper Maik Taylor had kept the visitors in the game
with a series of fine saves. Birmingham began well and almost took the
lead when Emile Heskey's shot was half blocked by keeper Jens Lehmann
and then hacked to safety by Ashley Cole on the line, however the game
changed midway through the half when visiting captain Kenny Cunningham
brought down Freddie Ljungberg as the Arsenal man burst through and was
rightly sent off. The resulting free kick wa brilliantly tipped over by
Maik Taylor after Jose Reyes had blasted the ball goalwards and inside a
matter of minutes, Taylor was called upon again after Ljungberg was
tripped in the area by Damien Johnson. Robert Pires took the penalty,
however the Irish international keeper guessed right and pushed the ball
away, Pires then hammered the loose ball wide. Arsenal then threw the
proverbial kitchen sink at Birmingham and Reyes in particular was
unlucky as he had four efforts saved by Taylor before half time. After
the break, Taylor saved brilliantly from Ljungberg and pushed an effort
by Pires onto the post, however his luck ran out with nine minutes
remaining when Cesc Fabregas set up Robin Van Persie on the edge of the
area and his shot took a slight deflection off of Stephen Clemence,
however it was enough to wrong foot the keeper and the ball bobbled in
over him as he tried to regain his position. Birmingham thought they'd
equalised when Olivier Tebily headed in, however it was ruled that the
cross from the corner had curled out first.

Attendance : 37,891
Assist : n/a

Liverpool (1) 1 (Gerrard 36)
Chelsea (2) 4 (Lampard (pen) 27, Duff 43, Cole (J) 64, Geremi 81)

Eight wins out of eight now for Chelsea after a sensational 4-1 win at
Anfield, Liverpool's biggest home defeat in 36 years! After a steady
opening, the game exploded into life when Didier Drogba was hacked over
in the area by Djimi Traore after the defender had blasted a clearance
against him, leaving Frank Lampard to dispatch the spot kick under
keeper Jose Reina and kick start the match. Liverpool pulled level when
a corner was nodded on by Jamie Carragher to the far post where Steven
Gerrard ran onto the ball and cracked a first time shot across goal and
inside the far corner. Before half time, Chelsea were back in the lead
thanks to a sensational Redondo-style piece of skill on the left wing.
He backheeled the ball around Sami Hyypia, ran around the other side of
the defender, cut the ball back for Damien Duff to control and fire
inside the far post. The second half settled a little, however Chelsea's
hunger didn't cease and they added a third when Drogba was sent clear
and as he rounded the keeper, his shot was half saved, however it spun
nicely into the path of Joe Cole to tapped into an empty net. Original
shouts for offside proved unfounded when replays proved that Cole was
just on. John Arne Riise and Peter Crouch were just off target as
Liverpool looked to battle back, however with nine minutes to go, the
slaughter was complete as Drogba again found space, crossed for Arjen
Robben who completely mishit the shot, however Geremi was on hand at the
far post to blast the fourth into the roof of the net.

Attendance : 44,235
Assist : Drogba (won pen), Carragher, Drogba, n/a, Robben

Manchester City (0) 2 (Mills 72, Vassell 90)
Everton (0) 0

Everton remain rooted at the foot of the table after a 2-0 defeat at Man
City. History was made at the City of Manchester Stadium with the
earliest ever kick off in the Premiership, and probably one of the
earliest ever as the match got under way at 11:15am and for seventy
minutes it showed as the spectators had little to cheer whilst the
players struggled to string passes together. Then Danny Mills scored a
stunning goal which was massively out of context for the game as he
collected a pass from Joey Barton, took a few paces forward and found
the top corner with a bullet shot from 25 yards. Everton huffed and
puffed but rarely threatened, although David Weir did have a chance
cleared off the line. In stoppage time, Barton again set up Darius
Vassell and he slid the ball past Nigel Martyn to send City level on
points with their cross-city rivals.

Attendance : 42,681
Assist : Barton, Barton

1 October 2005

Sunderland 1 (Miller 45)
West Ham 1 (Benayoun 72)

Honours even at the Stadium of Light in a game which could have gone
either way. Sunderland took the lead in first half stoppage time when
Liam Lawrence drilled the ball across goal and although keeper Roy
Carroll managed to divert the ball away with his foot, Tommy Miller was
on hand to hammer the loose ball into the roof of the net. The home side
then dominated the opening half of the second half and should have put
the game out of sight, however West Ham bounced back and earned a point
when Bobby Zamora's header hit a defender and fell sweetly into the path
of Yossi Benayoun who slotted the ball inside the far post.

Attendance : 31,212
Assists : n/a, n/a

Blackburn 2 (Kuqi 80, 88)
West Brom 0

Blackburn's recent good run continues, although they left it late to see
off struggling West Brom. Shefki Kuqi scored both goals inside the final
ten minutes, the first a fine far post header from Morten Gamst
Pedersen's corner and then late on, he latched onto an awful attempt at
a back pass by Curtis Davies to slot the ball past the keeper. Both
goals were celebrated by his trademark belly flop!

Attendance : 20,721
Assists : Pedersen (ck), n/a

Charlton 2 (Bent 25, 48)
Tottenham 3 (King 51, Mido 64, Keane 80)

Spurs move into third place, just behind Charlton, after coming from two
goals down to beat their London rivals in a cracking game at the Valley.
Spurs began well but went behind when Darren Bent was sent clear by
Danny Murphy's through ball and finished well past Paul Robinson. Early
in the second half, he doubled the lead when Alexander Smertin put him
through and he held off the challenge of two defenders to curl a beauty
inside the far post. Spurs were sparked into life three minutes later
when Pedro Mendes floated a long free kick into the area and Ledley King
stuck out a foot to divert the ball in having totally wrong footed the
keeper. Whether by accident or not, the visitors were back in the game
and equalised thanks to Ahmed Mido who collected a past from Teemu
Tainio and fired in from a tight angle. Enter supersub Robbie Keane, by
his own admission, not happy to be on the bench, but with ten minutes
left, he netted the winner after combining well with Jermain Defoe and
drilling a shot in from 12 yards.

Attendance : 27,111
Assists : Murphy, Smertin, Mido, Taino, Defoe

Fulham 2 (John 2, Jensen 28 fk)
Manchester United 3 (van Nistelrooy 17 Pen, 45, Rooney 18)

Man United are back on track with 4-4-2 after a narrow win at Fulham,
however their defence continues to look as bad as their attack is good.
Fulham actually took an early lead when Collins John latched onto a
flicked header by Brian McBride and although his first shot was blocked,
he hammered in the rebound from the edge of the area. Enter Ji-Sung Park
who was barged over in the area by Moritz Volz after a superb solo run
and gave Ruud Van Nistelrooy the chance to find the bottom corner from
the penalty spot, which he did despite veteran keeper Mark Crossley
guessing correctly. Within a minute, United were ahead as Park was again
involved, this time with a neat through ball to Wayne Rooney who made no
mistake one-on-one with the keeper. However, United's backline remains
fragile and they were caught out ten minutes later when Claus Jensen's
drifting free kick from the left beat everyone and nestled into the far
corner, exactly as Morten Gamst Pedersen did against United last week at
Old Trafford! United battled back and regained the lead in the final
minute of the first half when Rooney's through ball sent Park clear and
as the keeper came out, the South Korean squared the ball to give Van
Nistelrooy a tap in. The second half saw no further goals as United go
fourth ahead of the Sunday games.

Attendance : 21,862
Assists : n/a, Park (won pen), Park, Boa Morte (won fk), Park

Portsmouth 0
Newcastle 0

No goals at Fratton Park, although Portsmouth dominated for long
periods, leaving Newcastle grateful to keeper Shay Given for a string of
saves. The best was undoubtedly late on when Matt Taylor close range
effort was instinctively pushed against the bar by the Irish

Attendance : 20,220
Assists :

Gary Dowden
Chief Editor SoccerAge UK

Gary Dowden - Joint Admin Topica Premier-L list
Leeds United and Scotland and proud of it

The Unofficial Premiership Site